MADRID, April 20 — Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Tuesday that no club will be thrown out of the Champions League for joining a proposed European Super League (ESL).
On Monday, six Premier League teams — Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur — joined forces with Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid and Italian trio Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan to launch the planned competition.
They have decided to break away from the Uefa-sanctioned Champions League and start their new competition “as soon as possible”, with plans for three more founding members to join and for five other clubs to be invited annually.
Perez claimed Paris Saint-Germain have not been invited.
Uefa said sides in the tournament will be unable to compete in their future competitions, with Perez’ Madrid as well as City through to this year’s Champions League last four.
“They are the threats of someone who confuses monopoly with property,” Perez, who has been named ESL president, said on television programme El Chiringuito.
“Madrid will not be kicked out of the Champions League, definitely not. Nor City, nor anyone else.”
He added: “It’s not going to happen. I don’t want to get into the legal reasons but it’s not going to happen. It’s impossible.”
European football’s governing body also said players could be stopped from featuring for their countries too.
“Any player can be totally calm because that is not going to happen,” 74-year-old Perez said. “Uefa is a monopoly and it also has to be transparent. Uefa does not have a good image in its history. It has to be open to dialogue and not threatening,” he added.
Earlier Perez claimed the move had been made to save the sport.
“Football has to keep changing and adapting to the times. Football is losing interest. Something must be done,” Perez said. “Football is the only sport that is global. Television has to change to adapt to the times. We have to think about why 16-24 year-olds are no longer interested in football.
“There are poor quality matches and there are other platforms for entertainment. Football has to change.
“A group of clubs from some European countries want to do something to make this sport more attractive worldwide,” Perez added.
He said the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated the need for change and clubs cannot afford to wait for Uefa’s proposed Champions League reforms.
“The new Champions League is supposed to start in 2024,” said Perez. “In 2024, all the clubs will be dead.”
Perez claimed the new league would also help smaller clubs. “They have said it is a league for the rich and it’s not true. It’s a league to save football,” he said.
“The money goes to everyone, it is a pyramid. If those above have money, it trickles down.
“There are 15 teams that generate value and five will enter on sporting merit. It is not closed. It is open. We have never thought of a closed league.” — AFP